Shattered Innocence


Yesterday, during a car ride, Dawson was telling a little friend about what Santa had said to him during a recent visit to the mall. The little friend interrupted, “Santa is just your mom and dad, you know” he said bluntly. “I saw it.”

There was a moment of silence. In the rearview mirror I caught a glimpse of Dawson’s face. There was a mixture of confusion, and an emotion that I couldn’t quite place.

His friend continued, “And the tooth fairy too, you know. It’s just your mom and dad.”

Ouch. Adding insult to injury…  I saw the wind knocked out of his little sails.

Shattered innocence.

That’s what I saw, displayed on my son’s face.

All of a sudden, some words had shattered his current view of the world. The view of the world where things seem magical, where mythical beings can still exist, fit down chimneys and bring presents in the middle of the night.

I felt sad that he had had one of his beliefs shattered so brusquely by someone. I felt sad that some magic had disappeared. I felt sad that some childhood innocence had evaporated. Rather abruptly, I might add.

Perhaps that has happened to you this Advent season? Maybe someone’s hurtful words, or a situation has caused some of  your innocence to evaporate? The world that you felt was light, and bright and full of love one day, all of a sudden seemed a little darker?

Perhaps the baby that you thought was yours to keep forever, was taken back by birth parents… and pain stabs…

Perhaps you’ve had some disconcerting medical news about someone you love in your family… and fear strikes….

Perhaps your spouse has just left you unexpectedly …

Innocence shattered. Beliefs rocked.

Where is God in all of this, in the midst of the pain?

“I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

He is right here beside you. (Deut.31:6; Matt.28:20)

God came down at Christmas.  God became a baby, a vulnerable child all because of love. He is the definition of Love itself. Emmanuel, God with us.

Whereever you find yourself this Advent season, in whatever circumstances, no matter what news may have rocked your world this week, remember that

Love came down. He surrounds you. He covers you. For He cares for the brokenhearted, the ones whose spirts are crushed (Ps.34:18).

Jesus, please hold those dear ones close whose innocence in the goodness of life, or the goodness of You, has been rocked this week, by sad or disappointing circumstances. Please surround them with your love. Comfort them with the peace that only You can bring. Be near, so near, o Immanuel.


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